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Chen urges Legislature to facilitate arms budget review

Chen urges Legislature to facilitate arms budget review

President Chen Shui-bian on Wednesday urged the Legislature to facilitate committee review of the defense supplemental budget, saying that continued delay will deepen Washington's mistrust of Taiwan's resolve to defend itself against rival China.
Chen made the plea while presiding over a military rank conferring ceremony.
A total of 43 senior military officers are promoted to the rank of major general/rear admiral or lieutenant general/vice admiral. Five of them are promoted to the rank of lieutenant general/vice admiral, with the remainder to be promoted to major general/rear admiral
Chen said he hoped the Legislature will agree in its Friday session to forward the NT$6.3 billion defense supplemental budget to committee review and call its final readings before the winter break.
The proposed budget is intended to procure submarine-hunting aircraft, upgrade PAC II anti-missile systems, expand an airstrip on the Taiping Island and assess the necessity of diesel-fueled submarines for this year.
Chen said opposition party leaders have promised to endorse the budget but their lawmakers had boycotted the spending until Tuesday when the opposition-controlled Procedure Committee agreed finally to place the issue on the calendar.
Chen again asked opposition parties to set aside partisan interests when dealing with national security matters, noting that the Defense Ministry conceived the arms procurement plan before he assumes the presidency in May 2000.
The president, however, conceded that psychological factors are equally important and encouraged military officers to try their best to protect the country after their promotions.


Updated : 2021-04-17 03:20 GMT+08:00